[from our own Correspondent.]
The situation remains the same as at the date of my last letter.
The enemy still holds Lookout Valley
, Brown's Ferry, Raccoon Mountain
, and the railroad and river from Bridgeport
to a point within one mile of Lookout point
No further effort has been made to dislodge him since the unsuccessful attempt of Gen. Jenkins
Had the attack been made in sufficient force the day after the Federals
got possession of the ferry and threw a bridge over the river, as it is reported Gen. Bragg
ordered to be made, or even on the succeeding day, which was Wednesday, it is possible we might still have remained masters of the situation.
But the assault was postponed until Wednesday night, and was then made by a single brigade.
In the meantime, considerable reinforcements had arrived (Wednesday evening) from Bridgeport
, and it was against these reinforcements, and not the forces at the ferry, that Jenkins
's attack was directed.
As was stated in a recent letter, the enemy now hold Lookout Valley
, lying between the mountain of that name and Raccoon mountain
, and the entire line of the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad, from Nashville
to a point distant from Brown
's ferry, not more than one mile. He holds also the Tennessee river
, from the ferry down to Bridgeport
Since getting possession of the valley he has fortified his position, and it is already almost, if not quite, as strong as that at Chattanooga
In his front, as he faces towards Lookout mountain
, is Lookout creek
, which is too near his works for us to attempt to bridge it, and in his rear and on his flanks are the river and Raccoon mountain
This is not all. If attacked in the valley he can be reinforced from Chattanooga
by means of his pontoon bridges, and recross Moccasin bend more rapidly and safely than we could reinforce our column of attack; for our reinforcements would have to pass around the north end of Lookout mountain
, where they would be exposed to the fire of the Moccasin
batteries and the works in the vicinity of the ferry.
So, also, if an attack were made upon Chattanooga
, the enemy could receive reinforcements from the valley and ferry more expeditiously than we could send troops from our left to the centre, or from the centre to the left; and this because the enemy would move up on a right line whilst we moved upon the are of a circle.
's ferry to the farthest point on the enemy's lines in front of Chattanooga
the distance does not exceed two miles and a half; and from the ferry to the nearest point on the railroad it is not more than one mile. If not molested, of course the enemy will extend the railroad up to the ferry, where there is a range of hills behind which he can erect his depot of buildings, and protect his teams from the fire of our batteries on Lookout.
When the railroad shall have been thus extended, and the line from Bridgeport
put in running order, the distance he will have to haul his supplies will he reduced from forty and sixty miles down to a mile and a half and two miles.
This new move upon the military chess board, by which the enemy got possession of Lookout valley
and the railway to Bridgeport
, was a masterly stroke.
The conception was a brilliant one, and the execution of it admirable and faultiness.--All the combinations, from the building of the pontoon boats and floating them down the river at night to the unexpected arrival of the forces from Bridgeport
, were perfect.
Indeed, the river and the railroad from Lookout Mountain
, and the valley and Raccoon Mountain
slipped from our hands so easily, or rather were taken from as so adroitly, that we hardly knew when it was done.
The operation, however, has changed the whole aspect of affairs here.
The question of subsisting the Federal
army in Chattanooga
this winter is solved, and there is no longer any doubt about the ability of his commander to obtain all needful supplies, unless we dispossess him of the railroad.
To do this we shall have to fight another battle and overcome physical difficulties of a serious character.
The truth is, Lookout Mountain
is very much in our way. If we make Lookout Valley
the battle-ground we interpose the mountain between us and our base of supplies, and expose our flank and rear to a movement either from Chattanooga
, and if we do not go into the valley we cannot dislodge the enemy.--Why, then, should we remain longer in the mud and water in Chattanooga Valley
has arrived and been assigned to the command of Polk
Another Federal corps, making the third, has arrived from the Potomac
The enemy has fallen back from London
in the direction of Knoxville
, and considerable supplies have been gathered by Gen. Stevenson
and sent to this army.
We have had more heavy rains and more horrid weather.
Do hurry up the blankets for the soldiers.
is still improving and is able to sit up a little.
is here--Gen. Wheeler
is not. Our batteries continue to exchange occasional shots with those of the enemy.